Chapter 30: Inevitable Fight

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Sanaya's P.O.V:

"Daddy?" It was barely a whisper.

Just like I'd seen him in the changing room, he looked older, ten years older. His once brown hair was now filled with grey highlights and his skin was wrinkled near his eyes, his mouth and his forehead. But his eyes were still the same green orbs. Except, there was no emotion in them at all. It was like looking into the eyes of a dead man.

That glint in his eyes was enough to tell me that he was no longer the father I knew and loved. He was no longer the man who kissed my mother goodbye when he went out for work. He was no longer the father who'd taught me to dance while standing on his feet in the middle of the living room. No, instead he now stood in front of me with a sword in each hand, ready to fight the person that I had fallen in love with.

"You're breaking protocol, hunter." Lance's mother, Queen Jalyna broke the shocked silence.

Lance was standing protectively in front of me with one arm around my shoulder. Ace was standing similarly in front of Marissa while the Queen and Melinda stood just behind us. A few waiters, part of Lance's guards stood further in front, almost next the hunters. Everyone looked ready to battle...except for me. The only thing keeping me up was Lance's hold on my arm. I was seeing my father for the first time in ten years and all this time I had thought him dead. I didn't know what to think, what to say. My mind had gone completely blank.

"Shut up! None of your protocols will be enough to save my daughter from your filthy son!" My father roared. "I am not going to just sit by and watch while your son sucks the life out of my baby!''

"Daddy," I exclaimed, as I finally broke free from my stupor and Lance's protective hold. "How come you're alive? Why-how?"

My father's eyes shifted from the Incubi to mine and for an instant, I saw emotion flood his eyes. For that short instant, he was my father again.

"Sana? My baby?" He whispered and the familiar nickname he gave me, made tears cloud my eyes.

"Why are you here, daddy? Why now?" I asked through trembling lips. "Why did you try to harm all those people at the banquet?"

"Sana, they aren't people! They're demons!" He told me. "Come with me, daughter. I'll take you home, you can go back to your life with your mother and me. Just come with me."

"Mom and you?" I asked incredulously. "You haven't been a part of our lives for ten years! And you think you can just show up here, threatening to kill innocent people and everything can go back to normal?"

"This isn't a time to argue, Sana! Have you really turned blind? Do you not see how these people are manipulating you?"

"These people have never manipulated me!" I snapped. "Lance has never done anything to hurt you and yet, you shot at him! And now, you're here again with weapons in your hand, intending to harm them again."

"I cannot believe this!" He sneered, the mask finally removed from his face. "You're defending a Demon!"

"I'm defending the man I love, father." I told him calmly and watched as his face contorted with anger.

"Looks like your daughter has dug her own grave." It was Melinda who came forward this time, her golden gown glittering in the light. "You can't blame our Prince for her lapse in judgment."

"No. No, I can't." My father's voice was eerily calm. "But I can make sure that she never makes such judgment ever again."

The next instant, my father was charging directly at Lance with his swords held at striking position. He took a leap at the last moment and attacked Lance from above but Lance was able to deflect the blows in the nick of time, ducking back just as the tip of the sword grazed his cheek.

"Stop this!" Ace screamed but Lance silenced him by holding up his hand. He walked over to the wall closest to him and took out a sword from a décor piece on the wall.

"You're Sana's father," Lance stated. "Which is why you're still alive. There is still time for you. Turn back now; retreat and none of you will be harmed."

"You think I care about my own safety, demon?" My father spat. "I'm here to keep my girl safe. The only reason I stayed away from my family for ten long years, the only reason I faked my own death was so my family could remain safe! So they won't fall prey to you demons!"

"Then you've made the choice for me, hunter."

The next thing I know, Lance and my father were going head to head with their swords. I had no doubt that Lance was a good fighter, taking into notice that he was over two hundred years old, but I was surprised to see how may father was keeping up with him. At some points, it was hard to distinguish who was who as they were moving so fast. The only thing visible will be a flash of light when their swords collided.

"Sana!" Ace walked up to me and grabbed my hand. "You need to get out of here. Lance's life will be in danger if you stay and I can't let that happen."

"No!" I told him firmly. "I can't." I had to stop this! I could not lose either man.

"You don't understand, Sana," Ace snapped. "As long as you're here, your father will continue fighting Lance!"

"You think he's gonna stop if I leave?" I freed my hand from Ace's grip. "I pretty much told my father that I'm choosing Lance over him in front of everyone! If there's one thing I know about my dad that can never change, it's his stubbornness! He won't give up until one of them is down."

"Then you have to stop them somehow," Mary said as she came to stand beside us. "They're both fighting for you, I'm sure they will stop if you step in."

"That's too dangerous. If Sana goes between them, she can get seriously hurt, or worse, die." Ace stated. "And then they will really fight to the death."

"They aren't doing that now?" Mary asked incredulously.

"No," Ace shook his head. "Lance is holding back. He probably doesn't want to hurt Sana's father."

"Shit!" I have to stop them.

"Lance! Dad!" I yelled at the top of my voice, but neither of them seemed to listen to me. "Please stop! I'm begging you! Stop it!"

I wasn't the only person who had yelled 'stop it' and the other person's voice seemed to have better effect than mine. Both men immediately stopped fighting and faced the woman who'd just walked into the room, dressed in an all leather outfit and armed to the teeth with weapons.

"Tiara," my father sounded both surprised and scared of her.

"Hello, Adrian." Tiara said calmly. "I see you've been up to no good recently."

"Commander!" The men who had come with my father all knelt on the floor as soon as they saw her.

"Come now, Adrian," Tiara said slowly. "And I will make sure your punishment isn't as severe."

The other hunters went to her side immediately, but daddy held his ground. "I cannot leave my daughter at their mercy, Tiara!"

"Your daughter wasn't forced!" She roared, hands fisting by her side. "She made her own choice! And we cannot interfere with mortals who give themselves up willingly to the immortals!"

"So you wish for me to wait until my daughter is dead?" My father spat. "I refuse to do that!"

"Father, stop!" I said as I came between Lance and him. "Please, just leave. We can sort this out later, but for now, please, you need to go before the situation worsens even farther."

Our eyes met and daddy stared at me for a long moment before something changed in his eyes. And before I could comprehend what was happening, my father had raised his sword and was bringing it down on me. But just before it was about to strike me, I felt myself being pushed to the side roughly and then there was the sound of the bade slicing through flesh.

And when I looked up, I saw Lance in my place, with my father's sword piercing close to his heart.

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